Authorities crack down on Illegal lottery operation in Fort Pierce

FORT PIERCE, Fla. - Eight people were arrested and $11,000 in cash seized by the St. Lucie County Sheriff's Department following an investigation into a "Bolita," or illegal lottery operation in a Fort Pierce convenience store.

The bolita operation was being conducted in a secret room behind La Placita F Port of Prince at 2416 Okeechobee Road, according to a St. Lucie Sheriff's Department report.

Detectives shut down the illegal operation Friday night.

Detectives arrested Jean Baptist Charles, 67; David Grullan, 40; Louverture Jeantilus, 50; Davin Leger, 42; Dinisio Rosario, 44; Jose Louis Rosiao, 40; Rami Sucess, 51; and Anite Valmy, 53.

They were charged with 11 felonies and seven misdemeanors. All eight were released after posting bond.

In addition to the $11,000 in cash seized, investigators also seized piles of illegal betting slips and tally sheets.

Bolita is a Spanish word that means "little ball" – signifying the balls that are picked with lottery numbers.